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man-o-war tentacles

Bead curtain

It looks like a curtain of Mardi Gras beads hung in a doorway, but fish should choose another door! These are a Physalia’s (Man-o’-War jelly’s) tentacles hanging beneath its ship-shaped surface float. The “beads” are batteries of stinging cells that inject toxin into any creature they contact. Deadly to small prey, the sting is very painful for humans. This particular image graces the month of February in WHOI's recently released 2010 wall calendar, featuring the beauty of zooplankton. The calendar is available for purchase online or in the Ocean Science Exhibit Center.
(Photo by Larry Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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